Review: 'B-Movie War' by Alan Spencer

B- Movie War by Alan Spencer
Samhain Publishing (November 2014)
248 pages; $10.28 paperback/$4.24 ebook
Reviewed by Damon Smith 

b-movie-warVery quickly into B-Movie War, I realized that it’s a sequel to Spencer’s other B-Movie books, all of which are also published through Samhain. However, outside of a few cameos and references, knowledge of the previous books isn’t necessary to understand what is happening in B-Movie War.

B-Movie War opens up fast and hard, within the first handful of pages, the titular war has begun thanks to possessed movie reels being played across the world through the machinations of a particularly nasty spirit named Mr. Ratchet. Now, killers, monsters and demons are swarming the streets and spilling blood, in the name of the very angry dead. The first few parts of the book move swift, catapulting the reader from gory kill to gory kill while setting up the bones of the plot in between.

Despite how fun B-Movie War is at the start and towards the end, it drags in the middle, with the story meandering in parts and quite a few typos occasionally making the sequence of events hard to follow. The characters are well written and likeable. The villains are quite creative and echo that b-movie vibe you would expect from films of the ’70s and ’80s, especially with a few of the truly bizarre ones that crop up near the end. There are also a few awesome moments and lines scattered throughout that made me give a little internal fist-pump when they happened, and despite how bleak the book gets at times, there is a good sense of humor underneath it all.

B-Movie War is a fun ride, but much like the movies that inspired it, it’s mostly flash. It’s like a sugar rush, you’ll be gripped as you read it just to see what kind of new kill or monster is around the corner, but it burns off fast once its done. If you like creature features and general carnage with a b-movie twist, you’ll enjoy the ride B-Movie War provides. But much like movie theater popcorn, it will probably leave you hungering for something with a little more substance by the time the show is over.

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